A tiny bathroom for a tiny house

A tiny bathroom for a tiny house

by andrewodom on November 3, 2011 · 14 comments


When living in a space that rarely exceeds 300 sq. ft. it is essential to first distinguish for yourself what is an absolute necessity and what is pure luxury. For most Americans this line seems to blur in the area of the powder room.

According to the Washingtonian, “You could fit an entire bathroom from a 1950s house into one of today’s shower stalls.”

And that was in 2003. Since then houses have continued to grow and shows such as Bathroom Renovations, Property Brothers, and Renovation Realities have only helped skew our idea of the “master bath.”

My granny’s Cape Cod boasted a bathroom that was 5’2″ by 6″10′. There was a single basin sink, a commode, and a shower/bath combo. The floor was plain ceramic tile (with pink accents, nonetheless), and the walls were adorned with towel racks and a few pieces of “art.” Today is quite a different story though. It’s not uncommon to see a bathroom in a home today that is 12′ by 15′ (or larger) with his and her vanities, a shower stall, a tub, a separate commode stall, and even a television. In a tiny house this is simply impossible. In fact, for those who are new to the world of tiny house trailers, a home cannot exceed 8 ft. in width, by law, and is typically between 16′ and 20′ in length. We are an exception with our 30′ long trailer.

Our current abode – the BUNGALOW – is a tiny house in itself coming in at about 220 sq. ft. with a bathroom that measures right at 4’8″ by 6’2″, respectively. And truth be told, it is perhaps my favorite area of the house. Our tiny bathroom is a room that is used. It is not a sitting room nor a room we entertain in. We likely won’t invite guests in with us and rarely do we make it a stop on the “grand tour.” It features a commode (tied in to our septic system), a shower stall (the shower pan is a recycled RV/motorhome shower pan and the walls are corrugated metal screwed into plywood walls), 2 towel racks, and 4 hooks. It is also features 3 shelves and perhaps the most original use of plumbing pipe I have seen (we bent threaded metal pipe for the curtain rod and fastened it to the wall using plumbing flanges for a totally industrial look). We use our kitchen sink as our bathroom sink as well being sure to rinse the sink after we brush our teeth, etc. It is not everyones ideal, I imagine, but it seems odd to have two sinks in one very small house. Our hot water heater is situated below our kitchenette sink and gives us a generous 6 minute hot shower.

Why point all this out though?

Living in a tiny house does not have to mean living like a neanderthal. It does not mean living without. It simply means resetting your mind to understand what you actually need to live comfortably. This is obviously a personal decision. We don’t have a bathtub and neither do we want one. This may not be the case for others. We have 2 walls of corrugated metal and 2 walls of feux wood paneling. Not all that trendy but very functional. Our commode is low flow and therefore doesn’t have an ultra-strong flush capacity. It does allow us to have a diaper sprayer though (we cloth diaper, if you are wondering) and that is so very cool to us. You bathroom in your tiny house has to fit you and your needs.

You may remember not too long ago I outlined the minimalist medicine cabinet. This helped us tremendously to create a comfortable bathroom space. What is your bathroom like? Do you have a large master bath or a quaint powder room? Do you wish it were something else? If so, what? How would you change your lav?  And for the full size pics of our bathroom, visit our Flickr page.

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